The New York Times reports that Connecticut judge Barbara Bellis dismissed a lawsuit filed by relatives of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting that claimed 26 lives, including those of 20 children, before the case got to trial. Relatives of nine of the Sandy Hook shooting victims were plaintiffs in the case.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued that manufacturers and distributors of AR-15-modeled assault riffles (the make Adam Lanza used to carry out the Newtown attack), were negligent when selling weapons to untrained civilians. The complaint named Remington Outdoor, the company that makes the rifle Lanza used, along with the wholesaler and local retailer of the weapon.
In her decision, filed on Friday, Judge Bellis invoked the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, reasoning:
“To extend the theory of negligent entrustment to the class of nonmilitary, non police civilians—the general public—would imply that the general public lacks the ordinary prudence necessary to handle an object that Congress regards as appropriate for sale to the general public. This the court is unwilling to do.”